Ukraine visa
(I discussed this issue previously in the Ukraine thread, but it really deserves its own thread.)

The above site has the best information I've seen so far in English about getting temporary or permanent visas for Ukraine, for those who want to stay more than 90 days as a visa-free tourist.

In particular, it discusses minimum salaries for work visas (assuming you start your own company then hire yourself). A lot of idiots in the Ukraine thread at RVF didn't seem to grasp that Ukraine doesn't give work permits for zero or low wage workers. But high wages mean substantial taxes, like $1000/year (though read the site and figure it out for yourself). Added to other costs, you're looking at like $2000/year if you use a lawyer, less if you do it all yourself (need to be fluent in Ukrainian, not just Russian).

Another page at that site discusses investor visa for $100K. That $100K invested in a company you own in Ukraine could be used to buy real estate. My thinking is not worth the risk and hassle, plus ongoing legal expenses eats up some of the $2000/year or whatever you save versus the work visa.

Cheapest method for full-time visa, not discussed by the site since it is illegal, is a fake volunteer visa. Corrupt lawyers can arrange those for under $1000/year. But there's always the risk of the scheme being uncovered. You can't pretend ignorance either, so you might get banned for a few years as punishment.
Just to elaborate on the investor visa. If you buy real estate using the $100K investment in your company, you're probably locking yourself into some sort of condominium or other home-owner association, with all the headaches that entails. Written documents will be in Ukrainian and oral discussions at meetings in some mix of Russian and Ukrainian, maybe with strong heavy accents, people interrupting one another, references to things that all the natives understand but which are mysteries to foreigners, etc. You'll never understand unless you're a native Ukrainian. So you'll need a local friend or lawyer to help. As foreigner, no one will tolerate your complaints, so you'll have to do what the majority wants, so matter how stupid or how it hurts your interests versus theirs. Plus you'll also be made you pay more if the locals can think of a way to arrange that. If you really are a rich investor, why not use your riches to avoid all these headaches? Just rent and the problems are someone else's. If they don't fix the problem, move.

Also, the investor visa gives permanent rather than temporary resident visa. As permanent resident, you are liable to pay Ukraine income tax on all worldwide income, not just income earned in Ukraine as with temporary residents. If you are also permanent resident elsewhere (such as USA), then that website I linked to discusses rules for deciding which country takes priority.
Here's the stuff I previously posted I the Ukraine thread. Moving here so it all stays together.
I posted this over at Happier Abroad, but since the topic of working visa residency in Ukraine comes up frequently, and this is the clearest discussion of the topic I've seen so far, I thought worth reposting here.

Two things I noted in a previous post in that thread at HA. First, the lawyer's fee may include bribes to bureaucrats to speed things up. Since the lawyer doesn't discuss anything illegal with you, you're not on the hook if he gets in trouble. That is always how bribes should be done: though a local lawyer so you can play dumb and innocent if the bribe goes wrong.

Second, with a working visa as employee of your own company. you can also easily work for other companies. Instead of being employee of the other company, your company simply contracts to deliver services (your on-site labor) to the other company. This makes it much easier to get a job in Ukraine, since employee visas are a lot of expense and trouble. Also, because it's just a contract between companies, you can start work the next day. If the other company decides they no longer want your services, no problem, they just terminate the contract and your visa situation is unaffected.

Posted in the expats in Ukraine group of Facebook by Tasos Tsiamis (not sure what happened to Step 3, probably a typo):


The most important is that you must be legal in Ukraine when we will start all the process.... If you can't come to UKRAINE, then you can send us a power of attorney so we will do all the process for you. The steps are the following :

1.Translation of your passport to Ukrainian language. 3 copies are necessary. It needs 1 day.

2. Issue of a tax code number. It needs 4 days to be ready.

4. Open and register a LLC company in your name. It needs 1 day.

5. The company will ask from the employment center to issue for you a work permit for 3 years. It needs 8 days to be ready.

6. When the work permit is ready, with all the needed documents you will fly out of Ukraine in any Ukrainian embassy in order to get a visaD-04 (from 26 of June you can get the visaD in Ukraine from the ministry of foreign affairs if you have passport from a country that is under the 90/180 days free visa rule). The cost of the visaD-04 its not the same for every country and I can't know how much it will cost. You must ask the Ukrainian embassy in your country.

7. With the visaD-04 you will return to Kiev and we will go to the immigration office to issue for you a permission for living for 3 years. It needs 20-25 days to be ready.

8. After you will get the permission for living, you have 30 days to register yourself in a house address.

The cost for all this is 1.500$ + the cost of the visaD-04. The price includes the opening of bank account, stamp, electronic key for the tax office. The price does not include the cost of the company address and the house address registration, in case you don't have your own.

The cost for the company address (if you don't have your own) is 100€ euro per year.

The cost for the house address is 200$.

When you will open the company, you will be the director of the company. You must pay to yourself salary. The minimum salary is 4.500 UAH per month. From this amount you will pay 41% for taxes and pension. Its around 70$ per month ($840 per year) and you will be totally legal.

The company should not pay any taxes if it does not have any activities and income. If the company will have income then you will pay 5% of the total income or 18% of your profit.

We will choose what is the best way for you. I hope that I wrote everything clear. If you have any questions, I will be glad to help you. For more information feel free to pm me.
Visa 4D from step 6 for work visa is $182 for USA, $802 for United Kingdom, $150 Canada, $385 Australia, nothing shown for New Zealand. Click on visa fees option here:

So $1500 to lawyer to set everything up for 3 years (certified translation, filing fees, lawyer's fees) plus $182 visa fee for USA (different for other countries), then $840 taxes per year, $100 for company address per year, $200 for home address per year. Total of about $1701 per year over 3 year period.

If you did everything yourself, you would still have the $840 taxes per year plus fees for certified translation of passport to Ukrainian language, notary fees, filling fees, visa fee. Probably could get cost to maybe $1000 per year with help of Ukrainian girlfriend working for free and providing addresses. But still way above those estimates Contrarian Expatriate gave.

I think it's a bad idea to get visa through excessive help of girlfriend, because now you are tied to her. If things fall apart with her, you can't use her address any more, for example. It's also penny wise pound foolish for someone with plenty of money, like Contrarian Expatriate, to subject himself and the girlfriend to a huge amount of frustration and standing in line just to save $700 per year. Dealing with Ukraine bureaucracy enough to cause a breakup with the girlfriend right there, unless both of you have lots of patience. Also, most of the $1500 to the lawyer is profit, and you are now a valued customer, so you can expect that lawyer to be quick to offer services for any other problems you have in Ukraine, including problems with the girlfriend. Whereas if you try to save money by doing it alone, you miss out on this opportunity to build a good long-term working relationship with a lawyer.

I eventually plan to get residency by the above method in Ukraine, and $1701 per year cost will be partially offset by savings on round trip flight between Europe and the United States each year (cost $633 in 2019). But right now it's not worth the hassle and expense to me, because right now at most I would stay an extra month in Ukraine above what I am allowed using a tourist visa.
One thing I should clarify, regarding getting a work visa via your own company. The $840 taxes is on your wages. Tax is high because Ukraine expects foreigners on work visas to have high salaries, like $1000/month or whatever. Ukraine not interested in importing unskilled workers, in other words. If you are actually working in Ukraine, and earning such a high salary, either doing location independent work or working for another company in Ukraine using a service contact between your company and the other company, then you would be paying that $840 in taxes anyway. So this makes net cost of starting your own company to get a work visa under $1000 per year using that lawyer I mentioned, and under $200 if you do everything yourself with the assistance of a girlfriend.

I overlooked this because I'm retired and have no plans to ever work again myself.

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